By James Blears
Thrills and spills, plus impactful high drama for sure, when Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder meet head on, for their trilogy at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 9th.
No flight of fancy soaring towards a Battle of Britain on the horizon any time soon, due to Oleksndr Usyk`s brilliantly convincing fly in the ointment victory over a listless Anthony Joshua. It`s upset the apple pie order of things, with the piquant splat of a hard crusted custard pie, radically altering the tilt of the other part of the heavyweight spectrum. But, the main focus for Fury and Wilder, is each other, with the glittering prize of the Green and Gold Belt here and now.
Before delving deeper into the juggernaut history between these two titans, who are six feet nine and six feet seven inches tall, the current situation bears assessment. Fight three was scheduled for July 24th, but Tyson Fury tested positive for Covid 19 on July 9th so, branching out and a new date had to be set.
How exactly has covid 19 affected Tyson Fury? Miguel Berchelt, Alexander Povotkin and Kenshiro Teraji all postponed fights due to this, and then, they ALL lost! Has covid lightly brushed Tyson Fury or taken a real grip, exerting a significant, draining toll, which none of those others fully appreciated, until the opening bell rang and by then it was too late. They were then more than browbeaten!
Then on August 8th the birth of Athena, who`s Paris` and Tyson`s sixth child and third daughter. Complications set in, with the baby being treated in Intensive Care at Alderhay Hospital Liverpool. Some white knuckle hours of anxiety with Athena, coming out of ICU and then going back. But thank God, she`s now doing well and is at home. Joy, deep concern and then blessed relief.
Tyson Fury himself was born three months prematurely on August 12th 1988 weighing only one pound! His Mother Amber went through fourteen pregnancies with only four children surviving. His Father John who knew their infant son needed fighting tenacity, named him Tyson. He pulled through to develop and grow into a strapping young man.
Years later, Tyson again overcame the odds, by defeating depression. After winning the WBA, IBF and WBO titles from Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 in Dusseldorf, he suffered a downward bi-polar spiral, leading into the mire of alcohol and cocaine.
The hiatus took thirty four ghastly months, to fully overcome. During this time Tyson`s weight ballooned up to a mournful four hundred pounds. Lesser men would have just caved in. But with supreme willpower, he shed one hundred and twelve pounds. With extraordinary fight-back willpower and with help, he overcame his personal demons, dragging himself back from the abyss.
After a couple of comeback fights, he decided to take on formidably hard hitting WBC Champion, Deontay Wilder, who`s KO ratio back then, was 98 percent, 75 percent of which were in world heavyweight title fights. Twenty KO`s in the first round!
Tyson “The Gypsy king” Fury was audacious and ever bold, but he wasn`t totally at his peak, following the long lay- off. For this first encounter, which was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in December 2018, he weighed two hundred and fifty six and a half pounds. But there was a lot of fleshy wobble around his midriff constricted by a tight waistband, which looked a trifle high.
In contrast Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, who shares half a nickname with the illustrious “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis, came in a very svelte two hundred and twelve and a half pounds. Lightest, since his debut. It was ideal because it gave him mobility, while he still retained punching power from outset to sunset. In some ways he physically resembles Tommy Hearns, with a big powerful upper body, supported by thin reedy rather than weedy legs.
Right from the start, some bizarre, flashy, characteristic but pointless touches of bravado from Tyson, such as placing his arms behind his back, and lifting his arms in victory. He had Ben Davison, Ricky Hatton and Freddie Roach in his corner. While the mainstay in Deontay`s corner, was twice former WBA welterweight champion Mark Breland.
As an amateur, pencil slim Mark, who stands six feet three inches tall, had even surpassed the great Sugar Ray Robinson by winning five New York Golden Gloves titles. He went on to win Olympic Gold in 1984 and after his glorious ensuing pro Ring Career he won the 2018 Emanuel Steward Trainer of the Year Award. One helluva resume for a highly knowledgeable, but not particularly loquacious or demonstrative, corner guru.
In this fight Deontay was using his jab to set up his famed right hands. He was mobile and dangerous throughout. In the eighth Deontay landed a hard right hand to the face and oddly Tyson bumped his head and encouraged him to try another.
This unwise course continued in round nine, and could have led to Tyson`s downfall. A long range right grazed off Tyson`s head, Deontay moved in throwing another which landed. Tyson`s reaction was to contemptuously tap his chin, just before a short right to the temple, toppled him to the canvass. He got up by the count of eight, but ducked and slipped punches, then recovering sufficiently to fight back. Both were flicking their tongues at each other by round end, like a couple of rattle snakes.
The twelfth and final round was a barnburner of firepower, and incredible fortitude to get back up, after seemingly having been poleaxed. Deontay`s corner strangely almost forgot to put his mouth guard in. He had to turn back for this?!
Deontay flicked in a seemingly lazy left jab, which partially disguised a massive follow up straight right, which hit Tyson smack on the button. As he was falling, Deontay tagged him with an accurate snappy left hook to the cheek, and he was dispatched, seemingly flat out and spark out on the canvass.
As Referee Jack Reiss counted to six, Tyson was still on his back. Somehow with extraordinary recuperative powers, he made it up by nine, draped his enormous arms over Jack`s shoulders who discarded them, making him walk forward and asked him if he could continue, to which he assured he was capable.
He got caught with a stinging, flailing left hook to the head, but managed to fight back quite effectively.
The final result was a split decision draw.
Fight two, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, in February last year, was an entirely different kettle of fish, as Fury turned shark to display the fin.
By this time Tyson had replaced Ben Davison as his head trainer with SugarHill Steward, the nephew of the late great Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward. Tyson weighed in at a whopping two hundred and seventy three pounds, which was seventeen more than in fight one.
Deontay came in at two hundred and thirty one pounds, the heaviest of his career, and I think a glaring error, which slowed him down and showed him up, rendering him sluggish and an easier target.
Much has been said and mostly by Deontay, about the costume he wore for his long walk towards the ring. He estimates it weighed upwards of forty pounds, draining the vitality and zapping the zip from his legs.
In round one, Tyson moved in and was caught by a hard right to the top of the head. A lot of feinting, with Tyson as the aggressor. For a very large man, he`s surprisingly nimble. A mover and a shaker.
The turning point came in round three. Just out of a clinch, Tyson landed a left right combination on Deontay. He was caught on his left ear and he went down hard. From this point his legs were wobbly and his equilibrium was increasingly going west. Tyson landed a lot more punches. Deontay`s mouth and ear were bleeding and by the fifth he appeared concussed. A crunching left to the body dropped him. In that same round Referee Kenny Bayless deducted one point from Tyson for repeated holding.
In the sixth Deontay looked even more groggy and in a clinch, Tyson was licking blood off his Deontay`s neck….ugh! The end came in the seventh. With Deontay trapped on the ropes. Tyson threw a left jab, followed by a trio of hard and unanswered rights to the head.
More would have followed, but Mark Breland, realizing the inflicted and accumulated damage Deontay could suffer, promptly and in a timely manner, threw in the towel. Deontay argued that he should have been allowed to go out on his shield. However, I saw no shield, but if it had continued, he could have ended up on a stretcher.
Assistant Coach Mark Breland and Head Coach Jay Deas have been replaced. Ex Deontay Wilder opponent and friend Malik Scott is now Chief Coach.
What can Deontay do to turn this all around? His team says they are stiffening up his left jab, and encouraging him not to just head hunt, but also go to the body. Landing early on with his fabled, dynamic dynamite right, would be most opportune, especially in the first three or four rounds, before Tyson manages to get into a walk you down rhythm.
Deontay needs to shun shunting clinches, to avoid being mauled and manhandled by the Champion, who has a massive weight advantage, which he`s grizzly determined to bring to bear. Deontay needs to use his left jab again, which was so notably absent in their second fight and back it up with his Sunday punch.
Tyson is hopefully not affected by the residues or any lingering effects of Covid. Also for his team to have been most careful and if in any doubt, sought expert medical advice viz any medicines administered.
Even though Deontay has an eighty three inch reach, Tyson`s wingspan extends an extra two inches. He uses good footwork with small stuttering half steps to cut the distance. Nothing can fully prepare Tyson for the unconventional angles that Deontay wings in from all sorts of swooping perches.
It`s noticeable that in fight two Tyson sensibly resorted to far less clowning. He can`t afford any unforced errors. Pride can precede a fall. I`ve seen some fighters who try to be comedians, but no comedians who try to be fighters. Comedy routines are best left to the stage and not the ring.
Unlikely to go the full distance, it will prove to be very exciting and eventful… while it lasts. Deontay is determined to avenge his only loss in the professional ranks. While Tyson is Manchester United firm set on retaining the Green and Gold Championship, convinced he has the number of the man from Tuscloosa, Alabama.
But does he?
WORLD BOXING COUNCIL
Jose Sulaimán WBC HONORARY POSTHUMOUS LIFETIME PRESIDENT (+)
Mauricio Sulaimán WBC PRESIDENT
WBC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
T-MOBILE ARENALAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA
OCTOBER 9, 2021
THIS WILL BE THE WBC’S 2, 116 CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FIGHT IN THE FIFTY-EIGHT YEAR HISTORY OF THE WBC
TOP RANK & TGB PROMOTIONS, PRESENT:
TYSON FURY (GB)
Nationality: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: August 12, 1988
Birthplace: Manchester, Lancashire
Resides: Wilmslow, Cheshire
Alias: The Gypsy King
Record: 30-0-1, 22 ko’s
KO’S: 67. 8%
Total rounds: 193
World Title fights: 4 (3-0-1)
Trainer: Javan Hill
Management: MTK Global
Promoter: Top Rank /
DEONTAY WILDER (US)
CHALLENGER / WBC no. 1
Date of Birth: October 22, 1985
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Resides in: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Alias: The Bronze Bomber
Record: 42-1-1, 41 ko’s
Total rounds: 150
World Title fights: 12 (10-1-1)
Trainer: Malik Scott
Manager: Shelly Finkel/ Al Haymon/
Promoter: TGB Promotions
NAME PERIOD AS CHAMPION
26 WORLD CHAMPIONS RECOGNIZED BY THE WBC
OF WHICH ONLY 6 HAVE REGAINED THEIR TITLE:
MUHAMMAD ALI (US) / MIKE TYSON (US) / LENNOX LEWIS (GB) / HASIM RAHMAN (US)
VITALY KLITSCHKO (UKRAINE) / DILLIAN WHYTE (GB)
127 HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHTS HAVE BEEN HELD IN THE HISTORY OF THE WBC
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUTS BY COUNTRY IN WBC HISTORY
SOUTH AFRICA 1
PUERTO RICO 1
338 BOUTS HAVE BEEN HELD IN THE NEVADA STATE IN THE ENTIRE WBC HISTORY
THIS WILL BE THE 44rd. WBC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT CELEBRATED IN THE NEVADA STATE IN ALL WBC HISTORY.
43 WBC TITLE BOUTS IN THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION, THE HIGHEST OF ALL
BREAKDOWN BY DIVISION:
Lt. HEAVY 13*
Lt. FLY 10
TOTAL BOUTS 338
* IN THIS DIVISIONS IT WERE ON THE LINE 2 TITLES AT THE SAME BOUT
21/05/1966 MUHAMMAD ALI – HENRY COOPER TKO 6 LONDON
10/12/1968 JOE FRAZIER – OSCAR BONAVENA DEC 15 PHILADELPHIA.
08/03/1971 JOE FRAZIER – MUHAMMAD ALI DEC 15 NEW YORK
30/10/1974 MUHAMMAD ALI – GEORGE FOREMAN KO 8 KINSHASA
01/10/1975 MUHAMMAD ALI – JOE FRAZIER TKO 15 MANILA
09/06/1978 LARRY HOLMES – KEN NORTON DEC 15 LAS VEGAS
28/09/1979 LARRY HOMES – EARNIE SHAVERS TKO 11 LAS VEGAS
02/10/1980 LARRY HOLMES – MUHAMMAD ALI TKO 11 LAS VEGAS
11/04/1981 LARRY HOLMES – TREVOR BERBICK DEC 15 LAS VEGAS
22/03/1986 TREVOR BERBICK – PINKLON THOMAS DEC 12 LAS VEGAS
11/02/1990 JAMES DOUGLAS – MIKE TYSON KO 10 TOKYO
18/03/1991 MIKE TYSON – DONOVAN RUDDOCK (ELIM.) TKO 7 LAS VEGAS
08/05/1993 LENNOX LEWIS – TONY TUCKER DEC 12 LAS VEGAS
02/09/1995 FRANK BRUNO – OLIVER MCCALL DEC 12 LONDON
19/03/1999 LENNOX LEWIS – EVANDER HOLYFIELD DRAW 12 NEW YORK
22/04/2001 HASIM RAHMAN – LENNOX LEWIS KO 5 BRAKPAN
17/11/2001 LENNOX LEWIS – HASIM RAHMAN KO 4 LAS VEGAS
08/06/2002 LENNOX LEWIS – MIKE TYSON KO 8 MEMPHIS
21/06/2003 LENNOX LEWIS – VITALI KLITSCHKO TKO 6 LOS ANGELES
24/04/2004 VITALI KLITSCHKO – CORRIE SANDERS KO 8 LOS ANGELES
18/03/2006 HASIM RAHMAN – JAMES TONEY DREW 12 ATLANTIC CITY
08/03/2008 SAMUEL PETER – OLEG MASKAEV TKO 6 CANCUN
11/10/2008 VITALI KLITSCHKO – SAMUEL PETER TKO 9 BERLIN
17/01/2015 DEONTAY WILDER – BERMANE STIVERNE UD 12 LAS VEGAS
16/01/2016 DEONTAY WILDER – ARTUR SZPILKA KO 9 BROOKLYN
03/03/2018 DEONTAY WILDER – LUIS ORTIZ TKO 10 BROOKLYN
22/02/20 TYSON FURY – DEONTAY WILDER TKO 7 LAS VEGAS